Heart Disease - Has Science been wrong or is this WOO?

The chlamydia hypothesis, far from being “throttled” by the Evil Mainstream Doctors, has been the subject of considerable study. While there is some evidence suggesting Chlamydia pneumoniae may be a factor in coronary artery disease, treatment with antibiotics has not shown any consistent effect.

As for dataguy’s “research” - it would be more meaningful if it was actual research published in a peer-reviewed journal, not an opinion piece with appeals to conspiracy theorists like:

“The information available to the general public is increasingly controlled by commercial interests. Information that may reflect negatively on their business or foster competition is actively suppressed. This is the information that becomes missing. These are the missing facts we refer to.”

Totally bogus. There is a great deal of competition between researchers and clinicians, and startling new provable hypotheses potentially can yield great honors (and financial compensation) for scientists. The oft-cited example of the discovery of Helicobacter pylori’s links to peptic ulcer disease and cancer (which the woo-crowd claims was suppressed or ignored), actually was followed up by numerous researchers within a brief time after initial research was published and accepted widely once proven and replicated by others.

Ah, those “brave mavericks” who defy the establishment, and who frequently are quoted by alties.

I prefer the “quiet voices” who are trained in the specific areas of which they profess knowledge, who perform original research, take part in quality clinical studies, publish in peer-reviewed journals so their work can be adequately reviewed, and who preferably have not been sanctioned for misconduct by regulators and professional associations.

You are welcome to your opinions. I took the trouble to document mine and provide the basis for them. If you find the information helpful, fine. If not, I’ll refund double your money.

As for the “I prefer the “quiet voices” who are trained in the specific areas of which they profess knowledge” those are the people cited in the reference section.

So, are woo and WOO the same thing? Because I think the second is what gets yelled at rock concerts.

The article in question really contains nothing new. It has been known for years that refined grains and sugars (highly processed carbs) are not healthy. One should eat whole grains as much as possible, as whole grains contain fiber that slows down the digestion of glucose. Further, it has been known for years that there should be a proper balance between the omega 6s and omega 3s. I don’t recall the ratio, but IIRC, it is 1:6 in favor the 3s. And, of course, inflammation of blood vessels is the cause of atherosclerosis, as previously pointed out. It’s the way the doctor presents it that sounds like it is news.

As pointed out by Moriah, saturated fats increase total cholesterol, but they increase only LDL-cholesterol and not HDL. Polyunsaturated fats increase HDL, and mono- increase both. The liver synthesizes cholesterol from the fats we eat. Very little of our cholesterol is the result of the cholesterol we eat. (Trans fats increase LDL but lower HDL.)

Didn’t we just have a thread about what makes cholesterol stick to artery walls a few days/weeks ago?

iirc, the general consensus was that turbulent flows and uneven pressures (where different sized blood vessels meet) were the most common causes of plaque buildup (kind like sediment collecting at forks and bends in a river or stream).

Since you mention red meat and dairy, a recent study (actually a compilation of many studies) found that red meat isn’t bad at all unless it is processed (smoked, cured, nitrites added); then it contributes to a whopping 42% increase in heart disease risk, which is pretty major, causing over a hundred thousand deaths a year in the U.S. alone (based on the risk increase and the number of CVD deaths). Perhaps this is also why there is a common perception that red meat is bad - since past studies likely didn’t differentiate between processed and unprocessed meat (FWIW, processed non-red meat is also bad).

Similarly, this study (again a compilation of numerous studies, pointing this out because if many studies show the same thing they are likely to be right) found that people who consume a lot of dairy (which has a LOT of saturated fat in it, about 2/3 of the total fat, compared to 1/3 for meat) have a significantly lower risk of heart disease. Interestingly enough, for myocardial infarction (i.e. heart attack), dairy fat by itself had the biggest reduction in risk (relative risk 0.67; of course, the range goes up to 1.83, but perhaps because not all factors were ruled out; e.g. ice cream isn’t the same as milk).

Note, dairy fat in particular does raise LDL cholesterol, but LDL cholesterol is more complex than a simple number since there are different kinds of LDL (HDL too, and yes, not all HDL is good either), as mentioned in this article (which says that refined carbs are what raises the “real” bad cholesterol).

Dr. [del]Woo[/del] Lundell seems really hung up on this concept of raw, irritated coronary arteries just oozing with inflammation because you ate the Wrong Foods. Problem is, despite the “thousands upon thousands” of coronaries he has seen, he’s dead wrong.

I have seen loads of coronary arteries in the course of my (pathology) practice, and the ones affected by atherosclerosis do not look like Dr. Lundell describes. The first signs of lipid deposition are yellowish “fatty streaks” on the artery’s lumenal surface. In people with progressive atherosclerosis, similar lipid material builds up in the wall of the artery and may eventually calcify to produce a gritty gray-tan material, while the lumen of the artery is narrowed, reducing blood flow to the heart, which can eventually cause myocardial infarction and heart failure. The affected coronary arteries, though, do not look inflamed to the naked eye, nor do they typically show significant inflammation microscopically. This does not mean that inflammatory events didn’t cause the fatty deposition, but it does indicate that Dr. Lundell’s dramatic descriptions are hooey and should be a further indicator that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Saturated fats actually raise HDL cholesterol as well; in fact, saturated fat raises HDL more than any other fat, at least when they replace carbs:

Of particular interest (and yes, they sell lauric acid supplements):

Incidentally, Wikipedia says that palm oil is bad not because of the saturated fat, but because it is often oxidized, and oxidized fats are known to cause inflammation and even be carcinogenic (FWIW, more unsaturated oils are even more likely to oxidize, especially when used in frying).

Complete nonsense. Get your facts straight.


AFAIK, it was only the royalty and other very wealthy, who were privileged to be mummified. I doubt that many of the “common people” were so well-treated. And the rich and royals probably had a very different – and probably unhealthier – diet than the common people.


Sort of.

My contribution.

Not necessarily Heart disease present in ancient mummies - BBC News